A multi-impact cycling helmet is going to challenge the “one-hit-wonders” of the current range of cycling helmets.
If you have ever been unfortunate enough to call on the protection of your cycling helmet, you may know that they either break to reduce the force of an impact, or if they don’t break you are still recommended to replace them. I had this experience when I didn’t know there was some black ice in a dip in a country lane until first my shoulder and then my head hit the surface.
That was a reason why I continue to opt to wear a helmet, though I appreciate the arguments of those who choose not to.
Along come a couple of guys who are based at the University of Loughborough, with its reputation in sports. They initially set out to design a folding helmet. While their “Hedkayse” multi-impact cycling helmet does fold to an extent, they soon learned that there was a need for something that offered more. Instead of using EPS (polystyrene), they have come up with their own proprietary material which recovers after impact.
Using the European Standard EN-1078 test, traditional EPS breaks and is unable to perform safely after 2 standard impacts. The multi-impact cycling helmet was given a 6 hour recovery time after the 31st and 77th impacts and shows that it truly has “recovered” and is ready to go again and survives 80 impacts and is still operational.
Having said that, the label that came with the review helmet advised to replace the helmet after one impact – and I wondered whether the wording had been copied from “standard” helmets or the company’s lawyers are being over cautious! Hedkayse clarified though that “the law stipulates that a helmet should be replaced after an impact (because of how EPS works – we haven’t used EPS), but we only recommend after a ‘severe’ impact – and or structural damage”.
There is another aspect to this product which doesn’t feature in its “multi-impact cycling helmet” title and that is the X-strap webbing, or in Hedkayse talk “retention system”. At first glance it looks more like the webbing of a military helmet. While adjusting it is not instantly intuitive, it does give a comfortable and secure fit. With the movement of the components of the helmet being pulled together by the X-strap and an adjustable strap at the rear of the helmet, it is not just a one size fits all solution (covering sizes 49-59 cm) but is remarkable comfortable, fitting well to several different head-shapes and sizes in our session with the helmet. Apart from some permafit adjustment clips, there is a patented QARC – a “Quick Adjustable Release Clip”. Again, these are not initially intuitive; this pre-production review sample didn’t come with any instructions, but that is in hand for the final product.
Hedkayse don’t make any claims that this helmet is going to be seen on road race teams as it is not going to compete in the “how light can you make a helmet” stakes – coming in at 420g – but if you are looking for a comfortable helmet for commuting or touring, this would be a good choice for you. Certainly with its flexible yet tough outer shell and the anti bacterial grade inside liner (with easily washable parts), the benefits of a multi-impact cycling helmet might just make Hedkayse’s claim come true that this might be the only helmet you will ever need. Perhaps more so, because it is appropriate for commuting, touring and MTB use. There are 6 standard colours (black, medium and dark blue, green, grey, and red).